Dear Friends on the Road to Jerusalem:
During this Lenten season, we are once again hearing these profound Gospel stories of conversion. Last Sunday, the woman at the well: she met Jesus and experienced his way to name the truth of her reality and to embrace her with compassion, mercy and love. Jesus was thirsting for her faith/response as the path for her to recognize the gift of the Presence of God in Jesus. God is always pursuing us and we need to discover the obstacles that block our hardened hearts that do not allow His love and mercy to heal us for the journey. Often, we claim the most important factor is our pursuit of God, but that is backwards. Jesus is seeking us out, thirsting for our openness. The beautiful story of the blind man this weekend is the same; Jesus comes to remove the “blindness” of our preoccupations and allows us to see as God sees.
When we recognize that Jesus has been seeking us out all along, we also recognize that we have already been found, as our blindness is being healed. It is such a treasure to experience the outpouring of witnesses and so many who offer testimony in their way to know and reveal Christ in their lives. The young people I meet in RCIA, marriage preparation, the marriage renewal morning we had this Saturday and the “24 hours for the Lord”, with Eucharistic Adoration and Confessions, are very inspiring and hopeful. My heart is filled with gratitude for our entire staff and all the volunteers and people who make this possible—so precious and life-giving.
Our SJE Community is making progress with the Catholic Ministry Appeal – for the Bishop and the diocese. My sincere thanks to all who have offered their gift and I urge all of us to follow up with the gift that fits your circumstances. We are about half way, which means we have a great deal of work to do and pledges/sacrifices to offer in order to reach the finish line of our goal. If you need a pledge card and information for the Appeal, please find envelopes on the desk in the Fellowship space.
Also, in keeping with our tradition, please consider an Easter Flower envelope in the pocket of the pews. This is a beautiful way to remember a loved one which supports and creates our environment for the fifty days of Easter.
This leads us to Holy Week and the Triduum and my desire is to encourage your full and active participation. Seriously consider joining us for Communal Reconciliation here at SJE at 4pm on Palm Sunday, the Chrism Mass at Resurrection at 7pm on Monday of Holy Week and then the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, Good Friday Services and the Way of the Cross and finally the Easter Vigil. They are such beautiful liturgies and, considering the incredible distractions we all live with, you need to be very intentional about setting aside the time and space to engage. It is like a mini-retreat when your heart is open to be embraced and receive the grace of following Jesus and be renewed in ways you cannot imagine. Create your schedule and come and join us, and bring your children as this formation is a treasure.
Grateful in the Lord Jesus,
Father Jerry Mahon